To balm or not to balm, that is the question?
I’ve been getting into a habit of looking after my hands post climbing, and I think it has helped my skin. This in turn helps my climbing, as there’s nothing worse than a nasty flapper, or pinking your fingers and having to wait for them to heal. Giving your hands some extra care can help prevent these.
Moisturising or using a climbing balm is the easiest option, I’m currently using ‘Handy Gurugu’ from Lush, which smells amazing! Climb On and Monkey Fist are also great balms I tend to use. I like to treat my skin before bed by using a thick layer of the product, and put some cotton gloves on to sleep in.I find that the chalk is particularly drying on my hands, so giving them some moisture at night always feels good.
Another option is using a soft nail file to smooth down calluses, as this can stop them from peeling or becoming flappers. To me, having softer and more pliable skin means there is less chance of rips and tears, and pain in general.
Of course this is all my own opinion and experience, and I know plenty of climbers who don’t balm and that works for them. The argument for not moisturising is to harden the skin and get it conditioned to the environment.
I vote to balm, and if you’re feeling crafty here’s a climbing balm DIY recipe.
I would love to read your thoughts and opinions on the subject 🙂